Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Age of anxiety
A current faux tweet about the show refers to a story that appeared a month ago. That's pretty old stuff for a tweet, faux or not. But the story gave the first detailed summary I've seen anywhere of the TBS project, reportedly due in 2016 and about to tape in Atlanta.
The source of the description is Iliza Shlesinger, standup comic and host of the show. She first displays a bit of the usual snobbery toward our little genre when she says: "They offered [Separation Anxiety] to me and I said, 'Ya know, I don't really want to host a game show.'" I'm not sure exactly why she didn't want to host the show, beyond run-of-the-mill disdain. She gladly appears as a contestant on Celebrity Name Game, after all (see the screenshot). But then she gets enthusiastic about the format...
They explained the premise of it and I was like, "This is amazing!" I am not even saying this because it is my job! I have never seen a game show like this. The whole premise is that you take two people who know each other really well, which could be your wife, best friend or sister, and you think you are on an Internet game show to win $2,500. What you don't know is that you are actually playing on national TV and the prize is actually a quarter of a million dollars. One of you knows it, the other one doesn't and we separate you. It is the anxiety that comes with the person who knows how much money is at stake watching the other person play and they aren't taking it as seriously.
Early stories about the show promised a "unique twist," and I guess this is it. I'm not sure how the producers will convince one contestant that they're playing some dinky Internet game for no money. But what the hey, it does sound like an intriguing idea if they can pull it off. Originally slated for late 2015, the show has now been pushed back into 2016. We'll see how the format plays out if and when Separation Anxiety gets to air.